(HorizonPost.com) – Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Republican representative from Florida, has found himself at odds with his fellow GOP colleagues in the House. After leading the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the speakership, Gaetz has faced criticism and even discussions about expelling him from Congress.
Many Republican House members are still angry at Gaetz because his actions hindered McCarthy and the majority of the conference from passing legislation. These members have now turned their attention to Gaetz’s ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee following the expulsion of former Rep. George Santos from New York.
Before Santos’ expulsion, concerns were raised about the precedent of expelling a member who had not been convicted of a crime. Gaetz defended Santos on the House floor, not to support Santos personally, but to advocate for upholding the precedent.
Gaetz previously led a group of Republicans in voting to remove McCarthy from his position earlier this year. Eventually, Speaker Mike Johnson from Louisiana gained support, but the process wasted valuable time as lawmakers attempted to avoid a government shutdown.
According to sources, GOP lawmakers seem more eager to expel Gaetz than Santos if the House Ethics Committee’s report on Gaetz is as damaging as the one on Santos.
The House Ethics Committee is currently investigating several allegations against Gaetz, including claims of sexual misconduct, drug misuse, and campaign fund misappropriation. Although the Justice Department chose not to pursue charges against Gaetz in February, the House Ethics Committee’s investigation continues.
Criticism has been leveled at the bipartisan House Ethics Committee for being slow-moving and having limited options for punishment if wrongdoing is found. However, following Santos’ expulsion based on a scathing report presenting substantial evidence of federal law violations, there is renewed hope that the committee will promptly address congressional misconduct.
Some Republicans are cautious about publicly calling for Gaetz’s removal until the ethics report is released. Gaetz is not well-liked among his colleagues, as evidenced by the animosity displayed towards him during a recent closed-door conference meeting.
However, there are concerns among some Republicans that the ethics committee is being weaponized against members with whom there may be political disagreements. It is essential to treat each case independently and avoid linking the investigations into Gaetz and Santos, according to Rep. Dave Joyce, a member of the House Ethics Committee.
While some Republicans are cautious about predetermining judgment, others are open to the possibility of expelling Gaetz if the ethics committee’s findings are damning.
When asked about the calls for expulsion over his role in McCarthy’s removal, Gaetz smiled, asking, “Which members?” It is clear that Gaetz is unbothered by the criticism and continues to navigate the challenges he faces within his party.
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